It's not that I don't try to keep a clean house. But, the last time I scrubbed my shower, my 2 year old was in the kitchen spilling a whole gallon of milk on the floor. It can feel overwhelming and hopeless when everything I do gets undone.
I've had to let go of a lot. I've made peace with this season of my life and this has become my new motto:
We still had boxes to unpack and were trying to find places for things. I would apologize for the mess as I kicked toys out of the way across the floor.
Of course they still loved us, mess and all, but it was a humbling experience for me. It's been months since then and I can't blame our mess on moving anymore.
We have a busy home full of life, and life is messy.
I wanted to share with you a few tricks that I've learned that keep my house looking a little cleaner than it actually is.
- Keep it all behind closed doors
The same goes for cabinet doors and dresser drawers. Taking a second to close them fully really makes your space look more finished.
No time to scrub your bathtub? Close the shower curtain! Your bathroom will look instantly cleaner.
- Make your bed
- Clear off the clutter
Take a look at your bathroom counter top. Did you leave out your makeup, hair products and deodorant for the world to see? Find a place to store these things out of sight, under the sink or in your medicine cabinet. What really needs to be at your sink? Hand soap and a towel. I even hide our toothbrushes.
Keeping less on your counter tops means less to move when you do actually get around to wiping it down.
Look at the other flat surfaces in your home. Are they covered in nick-knacks and other things that are just collecting dust? I'm not a minimalist and I do like to decorate my home, but sometimes less is more. You will be much more willing to dust the furniture when there is less to move.
- Tame the paper
When I get the mail I sort through it right away. Junk mail goes right into the recycling bin. Magazines and catalogs that I want to read go into a basket that I keep by the couch. Bills go where I store them. Grocery store circulars and coupons to clip have their own place too. Invitations and reminders are pinned to the bulletin board.
Nothing is left to pile up.
- A little prevention goes a long way
I've also trained the kids to take off their shoes when they walk through the door. If they are especially dirty they have to come in the back door. It has saved so much mud (and we have a lot of mud!) from being tracked all over my house.
We only eat in the kitchen. Our kids are messy eaters so keeping it confined to one place saves me from cleaning up crumbs and spills all over the house.
- Only clean what bugs you
I do vacuum at least once a day and keep my kitchen floor swept, but only the dirty parts. I focus on the high traffic areas and save the furniture moving for days when I have more time. I spot clean the sticky messes and only mop when I'm really ambitious.
Maybe you are different, maybe fingerprints on your windows is especially disgusting to you. Clean what you need to to keep your sanity and save the rest for later.
I realize that by sharing my dirty little secrets everyone who comes in my house will probably look a little harder for the cobwebs in the corners and maybe even peek behind my shower curtain. That's ok. I'm not prefect. I would never trade this busy, beautiful life to have a perfectly clean house again.